SpaceX completes launch and Crew Dragon docks with International Space Station

Yolanda Curtis
June 1, 2020

A scheduled launch last Wednesday was delayed due to inclement weather.

Nineteen hours after the historic flight of SpaceX's Demo-2 Crew Dragon, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken reached the International Space Station on Sunday.

On-board were NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, the first people ever to make the trip to orbit aboard a spacecraft built by a private company.

While SpaceX has been delivering cargo to and from the ISS since 2012, it is the first time that it used its spacecraft to transport humans to the orbiting laboratory.

After making initial contact with the ISS, Crew Dragon went through a series of steps to further mate the spacecraft with its port - including linking power and creating an air-locked seal - before first of two hatches were opened.

The mission is a key milestone on the way to NASA certifying the Crew Dragon for operational, long-duration missions to the ISS. We first saw this capability in a test flight in 2019, but this is the first time the craft has performed this task with a crew onboard.

Automated docking means that astronauts aboard the ISS don't need to engage in "berthing" - a system where a robotic arm attached to the station needs to grab an approaching craft to help it dock.

If that wasn't enough to get them going, once they were in route to the International Space Station, the crew woke up to Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan" jamming along in space prior to docking.

The astronauts are expected to remain on the ISS from one to three months, "based on the readiness of the next commercial crew launch", NASA said earlier in May.

ISRO took to its official Twitter account to congratulate NASA and SpaceX. "Their incredible efforts over the last several years to make this possible cannot go overstated".

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